During a disaster, be wary of any group that has the time to be calling you for money. According to the Charities Review Council, established disaster-relief organizations are often too busy to implement a direct phone campaign at such times. Other tips include:
Get information: Don't be swayed by emotional appeals or high-pressure pitches, especially if the charity urges you to give immediately or refuses to send information.
Get credit: For a donation to be tax-deductible, the recipient must be a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Check with a tax adviser or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) .
Don't give cash: It can be stolen or lost. Write a check or use a credit card, but only give your credit-card number if you initiated contact with a legitimate charity.
Check them out: Look up information on charitable organizations at www.SmartGivers.org/GivingGuide.
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